Turning Dinner Date Tables: Tablescape your way to romance at home
By Angela Casco
Love is in the air, or so says everyone. For those planning to spend Valentine’s Day more intimately and on a budget, though, it can be on the table—literally.
Preparing a dinner date for a special someone away from fancy restaurants and right at the comfort of the home goes beyond what food to cook and serve.
“A table setting can be just as important as what it is you are serving, as presentation and setting the mood always matter,” Ginger Villavicencio, founder of tabletop curator service Casa Luxia, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.
FLORAL ARRANGEMENT To set the romantic mood, decorations such as candles, flowers, petals can be used
An act of creatively and intentionally arranging a tabletop to convey a specific theme, mood, or experience, tablescaping and doing it right “can add extra romance into an already special day.”
For Villavicencio, tablescaping done right means deciding first what type of meal service will be served for dinner. It’s an all-important step before even thinking about what items to decorate the table with.
“It’s what would determine how to set up a table,” she says. “A three- to five-course dinner would mean an elegant, formal dinner setting while a family style meal service would mean a more casual and relaxed romantic setting.”
To set the mood, Villavicencio says romantic decorations like candles, flowers, petals, chocolates, wine, among others are must-haves.
“A place setting alone will not make a table feel romantic,” she says, referring to the complete set of dishes and cutlery provided for one person at a meal. “Adding decorations and design elements into your tablescape is what is essential in creating a romantic table setting.”
Opting to use red, often considered the color of love and romance, as an overall theme for the table instantly gives a romantic feel to the date. It’s not the only color in the world,?though, and it’s certainly not the only hue that can evoke the same vibe.
“While red may be the popular color for Valentine’s Day, I would also be open to setting up my table in pink or picking out different pastels,” she says.
LADY LOVE Casa Luxia founder Ginger Villavicencio suggests adding decor and personal touches to the table to make it more romantic
Don’t let the decorations sidetrack the practicality of at-home dinner dates, though. Tablescaping itself, much like interior designing, aims to offer options that provide both aesthetic and functionality.
Flowers, for instance, are common decorative items for tables and it tend to be expensive during the season.
“An alternative would be to decorate their table using food elements such as a serving of chocolate covered strawberries, charcuterie platter, or a cake stand with chocolates in the middle of the table surrounded with candles,” Villavicencio suggests. “This does not only make your table look romantic. It’s a practical touch, too!”
While it’s easy to get carried away in turning a vision of a perfect dinner date to reality, the Casa Luxia founder says tablescaping is not an excuse to forget what a dinner table has always been made for—eating.
“I would suggest just using one to two design elements for your table decor,” she says. “As for your place setting, always make sure it complements the type of meal service you have and number of courses, wine, drinks you will serve.”
What makes a special Valentine’s Day tablescape, however, is more than just deciding which decorative item goes where.
“More than anything, it is the personal touches that matter,” Villavicencio says, suggesting the addition of items like personalized plates. “The smallest details make the tablescape truly unique and unforgettable.”